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Ensour is longest serving premier under King Abdullah

By Laila Azzeh - Feb 14,2016 - Last updated at Feb 14,2016

AMMAN — Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour has become the longest serving premier since His Majesty King Abdullah's accession to the Throne in 1999, with experts saying the current government will most likely continue until next year.

"The constitutional term of the Lower House will end in January 2017. According to Article 64 of the Constitution, the government which is in office when Parliament is dissolved must resign within one week of the dissolution," Minister of Political and Parliamentary Affairs Khaled Kalaldeh told The Jordan Times on Sunday.

In addition, the prime minister during whose term Parliament is dissolved cannot form a new government.

"Until the date of Parliament's dissolution, the current government will remain in power as long as the people, represented by the House, are satisfied with it," said the minister.

In earlier remarks, Kalaldeh noted that "if the current House completes its four-year term, which ends on January 29, 2017, the elections are to be held four months before that or a maximum of two years following it as per the constitutional authorities granted to the King",  citing Article 68 of the Constitution.

Paragraph A of the said article reads: “The term of office of the Chamber of Deputies shall be four calendar years commencing from the date of the announcement of the results of the general elections in the Official Gazette. The King may, by a Royal Decree, prolong the term of the Chamber for a period of not less than one year and not more than two years.”

Political analyst Waleed Hosni also expects Ensour's government to remain in office, at least until May 15, 2016, which marks the end of the House's ordinary session.

"I don't think there will be any surprising changes. The House and the current government are devoutly connected. They came together and will leave together," Hosni told The Jordan Times in a phone interview, adding that the government is dependent on the House for survival.

"This government enjoyed a free confidence by the House," he said.

Ensour, whose first Cabinet came to power on October 10, 2012, was appointed as premier after Fayez Tarawneh's government, which served for six months, resigned.

Nearly five months later, on March 30, 2013, Ensour was entrusted to form another government.

Ensour's term exceeded that of Ali Abul Ragheb, who was first entrusted to form a government on June 19, 2000, while his second term started on January 13, 2002 and ended on July 20, 2003.

 

His government has been dealing with major regional developments, including the Syrian crisis, which resulted in the influx of around 1.3 million Syrian refugees into Jordan, contributing to deepening economic difficulties already facing the Kingdom.

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